This instructable is for delicious smoked spare ribs that have been cut down to a St Louis cut. You can easily use the same recipe for loin back ribs if that is your preference. Just remember that this is BBQ and there are no set cooking times. Your BBQ is done when it's done. Usually plan on about 5-6 hours of cooking time when cooking at 225F. The ambient temperature, humidity, wind, and size of your racks of ribs will all influence your cooking time so make sure to keep an eye on them and have fun, it's BBQ!
Step 1: Select your ribs
I chose to buy full spareribs. These just happened to be on sale. Get what you have access to. Loin back and spareribs that have already been cut down to a St Louis cut tend to cost a bit more. The key is to select a good quality meat. Look for good marbling within the meat. You want the fat to be spaced evenly throughout the meat. This will render during the cook and help keep your meat moist. Large hunks of fat will not render so keep that in mind when selecting your ribs.
Step 2: Clean your ribs
Open up your ribs and give them a rinse under some cold water. Rub your hands over them to check for any loose pieces of bone and remove them. Next, flip them over. You will notice a silvery membrane. Use a butter knife to loosen the membrane on one of the ends. Insert the knife just under the membrane and slowly work it up.
Step 3: Remove the membrane
Once you get one of the ends of the membrane loose, use a paper towel to grab a hold of it and pull firmly to remove the membrane. This can usually be done in one motion but sometimes you will have to fuss with it a bit more. The rub will not stick to the membrane and smoke will not penetrate it so you really do want to remove it completely.